08 Jan Lost sense of Smell and Taste – and how to get it back
Olfactory Disturbances from Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2) is a common symptom of the disease, with over 80% of people who have tested for the virus reporting the loss of smell, taste and usually both.
Thankfully, of this group who reported this symptom, almost all people report regaining their sense of smell and taste within a few weeks, with some taking a few months to fully recover.
In this blog we will look at some of the scientific studies that attempt to speed up the recovery of smell and taste due to Covid-19.
Vitamin A therapy probably doesn’t help
In one clinical trial in 2012, a small group of 52 patients were treated with 10,000 iu of Vitamin A daily for 3 months. The results were that 44% of the patients fully recovered their sense of smell with 3 months, however there was no significant distinction between the treated group and the control, leading to conclude that Vitamin A may not be an effective solution to the issue 2. The promising news is that nearly half of the patients fully recovered in 3 months, so humans may be very effective at recovering our smell senses naturally over time.
Zinc may help get it back faster!
In another study, 105 patients who were infected with Covid-19 and also exhibited anosmia and/or hyposmia (the loss of smell and or taste), where given 220mg of Zinc Sulfate (equivalent to 50mg elemental zinc).
Amazingly, The median duration of recovery of olfactory function was 7 days (range 5–9 days) in COVID-19 patients who received zinc therapy, which was significantly lower than in those who did not receive the therapy (median 18 days with range 14–22 days) 1.
Getting your smell and taste back takes time
More research is needed to understand why and how the sensation of loosing your smell and/or taste is a common symptom of Covid-19. Additionally, more studies are needed to look at potential therapies for getting back the sense of smell or taste. It’s clear that time is our biggest ally when it comes to a full recovery, with the overwhelming majority of people making a full recovery in as little as 30 days. Zinc supplementation of 50mg per day may also help bring this recovery time down to as little as one week, however the study needs to be expanded to more people before it can be definitive.
- Olfactory Disturbances as Presenting Manifestation Among Egyptian Patients with COVID-19: Possible Role of Zinc
- Olfactory function in patients with postinfectious and posttraumatic smell disorders before and after treatment with vitamin A: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial
Photo provided by Flower photo created by wayhomestudio – www.freepik.com